Thursday 11 November 2021

Book Review: The Memory Box by Kathryn Hughes

The Memory Box by Kathryn Hughes book cover

AD* | Jenny Tanner opens the box she has cherished for decades. Contained within are her most precious mementoes, amongst them a pebble, a carving and a newspaper cutting she can hardly bear to read. But Jenny knows the time is finally here. After the war, in a mountainside village in Italy, she left behind a piece of her heart. However painful, she must return to Cinque Alberi. And lay the past to rest.

After a troubled upbringing, Candice Barnes dreams of a future with the love of her life - but is he the man she believes him to be? When Candice is given the opportunity to travel to Italy with Jenny, she is unaware the trip will open her eyes to the truth she's been too afraid to face. Could a place of goodbyes help her make a brave new beginning?

Emotional and packed full of twists and turns, The Memory Box is a timeless story set against the backdrop of the Second World War. 

This is a timeslip novel, told in two parts. First and foremost is Jenny's story. She is a 100-year-old lady living in a retirement home, determined to finally set the ghosts of her past free. To do so, Jenny takes a trip to Italy to confront her past and finally seek some answers. Her young carer, Candice, accompanies her. 

Candice is an aspiring beautician, working in the care home where Jenny lives to try and make ends meet. She's living with her boyfriend Beau, yet trouble is brewing under the surface of their relationship. Will the Italian holiday bring about change for both women?

Both Jenny and Candice are strong women and interesting, multi-faceted characters. Jenny has so many tales to tell - not surprising, given her age! Candice is hardworking and determined, yet always makes time for Jenny and the other residents. 

As Jenny begins to recount her past to Candice, both get drawn into the secrets of the past. It's a twisty journey with plenty of surprises; at times sweet, at others heartbreaking. 

The story is beautifully written, with poignant prose and some great descriptions. The characters are full of life and just jump off the page. In fact, the book finished far too soon. I'd love to read more about these characters! 

The Memory Box is an enjoyable read and an emotional rollercoaster of a story!

Rating: 3 stars 

The Memory Box is available to buy now. 

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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